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Hi there,

Although there are already a few questions on this topic, the answers do not 100% answer my case.

I would like to use parts of the OSM data as one of many sources for a new database that cannot be publicly available as the other sources are not for free and I need to pay licensing fees to them.

I would extract small amounts of OSM data and save them as a filtered version (no changes to the data, only subset of total OSM data) and after that mash the data with the other sources. The OSM data is only a minor part of the final result and will never be visible as e.g. only the number of certain POIs per bounding box would be used as an influencer in the final database.

Think of it as a heat map where the "heat" is described by the density of different influences (OSM data being only one of many). But: The map itself will never be shown, only the resulting value per bounding box (e.g. 65%). And in this resulting value only a small portion is indirectly based on OSM data.

To make it even more complicated, the other (not free) sources are dynamic, so there are data sets that change throughout the day (even by the minute). How should I make that final database available as it is not static and cannot be offered as a download or shared via email to the users?

Could you please explain the situation? Is this "Collective Work" or "Produced Work" as I keep the OSM data in a separate DB and it only indirectly influences the final product? And would that OSM layer be "Derivative Work" (e.g. filtered list of POIs per bounding box)?


asked 23 Nov '12, 16:55

OSM_Newby123's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 07 Mar '15, 13:12

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

You will not get a definitive answer from anyone at OSM; for definitive answers, speak to (and, likely, pay) a lawyer.

A few items seem relatively clear to me, but I am not a lawyer and closer inspection might yield different results:

  • I think that it is likely that you are internally creating a database that is derived from OSM and other sources.
  • It is not a collective database because OSM and other data are not simply sitting side by side; they are algorithmically combined into something else.
  • This "something else", the derived database, is publicly used by you (you accept a bounding box query and return a percentage that you arrive at by using the database).
  • Therefore, you have to make the database available under ODbL on request.

You do not have to make the third-party data available - the ODbL share-alike doesn't backtrace through your production chain, it stops at the "publicly used" database which is your "heat map".

If you manage to create your algorithm in a way that the mixing of OSM and proprietary data happens on-the-fly when the user queries your system, then it is likely that you are not creating a derived database and therefore you don't have to share anything except the original OSM data you've been using.

The ODbL doesn't require that you make the exact snapshot of the database available, it is ok to have a reasonable delay.

I repeat that this is a non-lawyer opinion from someone who has been wrong in the past. You might get additional results if you take the question to our legal-talk mailing list.

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answered 23 Nov '12, 18:59

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

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question asked: 23 Nov '12, 16:55

question was seen: 7,576 times

last updated: 07 Mar '15, 13:12

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum